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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  May 9, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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thr three suspects. he did not speak, but the prosecution requests a multimillion dollar bail based on the gruesome nature of the crime. >> the charges, again, mr. castro based on premeditated, deliberate, and depraved decisions snatched three young ladies from cleveland's west side streets, to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit. also, while in captivity, they withstood repeated beatings, they were bound and restrained, and sexually assaulted, basically never free to leave this residence. >> today, the victims are safe. two of them are sleeping in their own bed again and reunited with their families. >> i want to thank everybody that believed, even the ones that doubted, i still want to thank them the most, because they're the ones that made me stronger, the one that made me feel the most that my daughter was out there.
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>> meanwhile, the police report includes disturbing details about what these three women went through for roughly a decade, while held in captivity. castro allegedly picked up each of the girls on the street, offering them a ride home, which they accepted. but they didn't make it home. telling police he drove them to his house, and shackled them in the basement. that was the beginning of their decade long nightmare of rape, abuse and captivity. so horrific, they didn't see daylight for years at a time. joining me today, former rnc chairman and msnbc political analyst michael steele, former new york city police officer and prosecutor eugene o'donnell, senior political reporter at politico, maggie haberman and mr. david corn. joining us is msnbc's craig melvin. thank you for being on the show. what do we know about this crime. obviously we saw him for first
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time in person today. what do we know about the state of these women? obviously it is a huge psychological burden they're now going to carry. >> reporter: yeah, we do know, as you just indicated, two of the young women are back at home, michelle knight, the third woman, the one who first was taken, she is still in the hospital. last check she was in good condition but still in the hospital. at this point, no word on when she might be released. this morning, 52-year-old ariel castro, judge set his bond at some $8 million, that means he'll have to come up with $800,000, that's not going to happen. he'll remain in jail. at some point within the next 30 days the case will go before the grand jury. castro did not enter a plea this morning as you saw there. he hung his head, didn't say a word. at one point the prosecutor did say to the judge, your honhonor bit of a role reversal, ariel castro stands before you this
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morning as a captive. that's what's happening in terms of the case. in terms of the investigation, no activity at the house behind me so far yet today. of course, it was three or 4:00 yesterday around before we started seeing the fbi investigators show up to gather more evidence. so far, nothing today. we know at 4:00 there will be a press conference, a news conference, the prosecutors will hold. at that point we may hear a little bit more information about some of the charges. also a little more information about the case as well. one tidbit that was revealed to us a few hours ago, based on the 200 pieces of information taken from the home, luke, a suicide note, written by castro, in 2004. in that suicide note that castro wrote, according to investigators, he claimed that he was abused as a child. so, again, as they combed through that evidence, we expect to hear even more information about some of the things that they found doing an initial search of the home. >> thanks so much.
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stay with us. i want to bring you back in a little bit. now to you, eugene, something that strikes me about this is the psychology of the women who ended up being tormented, being raped, being abused. at what point do they lose their will to try and achieve freedom? it is pretty significant to be behind bars for ten years, usually you encounter some of the captor having a total dominance over his subjects. but in this case, they still had that will to try and become free. >> well, the prosecutors will tell you there is learned helplessness that comes up in domestic violence and everybody famously -- everybody famously knows about stockholm syndrome. an act of terrorism in which the victims are convinced they're going to die, they're going to die at some point. they have been convinced of that. you can hear that in the 911 tape the other day. you can hear the victim saying, please come before he gets back this is absolute terror. and at some point it morphs into, again, a feeling of helplessness and accommodation
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of the perpetrators because you're so afraid of being seriously injured or killed. >> especially if you have a daughter with one of the perpetrators. at some point the motherly instincts have to kick in to say i'm going to try and take care of her as best a can, the horrific circumstances. >> it is important. there are so many issues that come up here, the way that missing persons are handled generally from the reporting side of it, we sensitize people on sex crimes, years ago rape victims were put on the defensive. to some extent reporters of people who go missing, they're put on the defensive. so they'll get the proper care and hopefully there will be a multidisciplinary approach to helping the victims in a nonaccusatory way. because there is something about the case and missing persons generally where there seems to be a finger of blame. there is enough guilt by the family members, but the victims seem to get some blame in this. we have to make absolutely sure they don't feel that they did anything wrong to contribute to this, the perpetrator should be brought to justice is in front of the courts. >> one thing i find interesting in all of this is how the
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community around mr. castro just -- they claim they had no idea. i want to play this sound from his cousin. >> for all the time that i have known ariel, he had always been a loving cousin. a loving father, a loving grandfather. you know, also a very popular member of this community. at this point, you know, he's a grown man, he's made the decisions he made, and he'll have to pay the price for these horrible things that he's done. >> how is that possible? how can somebody, like mr. castro, play the bass have people over to jam at his house on guitars, appear at barbecues, no one -- he had some issues with his wife regarding domestic violence, but overall the community saw him as a pretty normal human being. how is that possible? how can everyone miss like that? >> you have to think, people have to be careful, there is 300 million people in america and i doubt there is very many of these folks but this is a super
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duper manipulator, very good at manipulation and finding the victims and keeping the victims and avoiding detection. not surprising if you follow the kind of pattern and the kind of methodical way he did this, i don't find that shocking. i think it is important people don't start looking at their neighbors and thinking this is a common situation. but he's probably in the first division of the worst kind of monstrous manipulating people. >> michael, wasni want to ask y serving in maryland, there has been horrific cases in baltimore, out of certain areas, how does the community continue to miss these types of things? >> i think part of it is, you know, the perpetrators of these horrific acts go about creating as much normalcy as possible. the whole idea is not to stand out, but to blend in. it is to be at the local community barbecue. it is to have folks over from time to time. but even in that behavior, you notice that there is some telltale signs that again went missing, plastic bags on the windows of the house, the front porch light on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all these little
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things that really kind of stick out and make you go hmm, they didn't follow up on. they got duped into this whole psychology of normalcy he had been creating. and they played into it. and so even when you see a young naked, you know, girl, in the backyard, you're, like, oh, that's odd, but, you know. >> there is a thin line, i was thinking about this a lot the last few days as a neighbor. i live in a community. there are houses up and down my streets and we all kind of pay attention to what goes on, particularly if there is a house where it looks like people haven't been there in a while, there is a fine line between being a busy body and going too far and having communal concern about what goes on in your neighborhood. it seems in this case, even the people who claim they called in the cops, they say they didn't respond, which has to be sorted out, at which point do you call the cops and if the cops don't show up do you take more proactive measures if only knocking on the door yourself? >> even then, i think knocking on the door yourself, i'm not
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sure how much more it would have yielded. it is part of -- >> he did have people in his living room and they had no idea this was going on. >> right. to your point about the manipulation element of this, part of the manipulation in cases like this seems to be how you establish certain benchmarks of normalcy. >> craig, back to you to close this out. from your reporting on the ground, what are you hearing from neighbors? i assume there has got to be a lot of anger mixed in with obvious lit happiness that these women are now free. are folks feeling they missed this right underneath their nose? >> reporter: the emotions here, luke, have been mixed. i was listening to the panel there. there are the neighbors who continue to insist they did call 911, public officials meanwhile continue to push back saying, you know, with he don't have records of these calls and that's something that is going to come up at a community hearing at the church behind me tonight at 7:00. another interesting thing to note, not only according to prosecutors, not only was ariel castro able to dupe friends and
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family to a certain extent, to a large extent, he was able to at one point dupe his brothers. we thought that, you know that the brothers would be charged as well, prosecutors this morning essentially saying his own flesh and blood had absolutely no idea what was going on in the house. you didn't show up unannounced. you didn't just knock on his door. he made sure that people with whom he associated were aware of the restrictions. and at one point, we were told yesterday, by a fellow who used to work for the city, at one point ariel castro was a part of the search party that initially went to look for gina dejesus. >> that's simply remarkable and also disgusting. msnbc's craig melvin, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. keep up the wonderful reporting on the ground. former new york city police officer and prosecutor eugene o'donnell, thank you very much, sir. we appreciate it. coming up, congress holds a second national security related hearing in as many days, but whether they're talking about benghazi or the boston bombings,
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are these discussions more productive instruction or an arena to score political points? we'll discuss when congressman mike mccall from texas joins us live just ahead. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. i had[ designer ]eeling enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin.
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the senate embarked on its first big test for immigration reform, but with 300 amendments sxektsed to be added to the bill, optimism is already starting to wain. unless you're vice president joe biden. >> as my grandpop would say, let the grace of god and goodwill of the neighbors, congress will show the wisdom to pass the bipartisan immigration bill by the end of the summer.
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other end, and he said, greg, we're under attack. and i said, okay. and the line cut. at about 3:00 a.m. i received a call from the prime minister of libya. i think it is the saddest phone call i've ever had in my life. and he told me that ambassador stevens had passed away. >> utah congressman jason chavitz also became emotional. >> the safe evacuation of all u.s. government personnel from benghazi, 12 hours after the initial attack. that's not true. there are four people that were not safely evacuated. >> at the conclusion of the hearing, committee chairman darrell issa promised further inquiries. >> this hearing is now over, but
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this investigation is not will be the message for the future going forward. >> and this morning, for first time, house speaker john boehner waded into the benghazi waters and had some tough words for the white house, calling for it to release a key series of state department e-mails he says proved the administration knew the day after the attack that it had not been caused by an anti-muslim video. >> the goal here is to get to the truth. four americans, four americans lost their lives. their families want to know the truth. the american people want to know the truth. the white house has done everything possible to block access to the information that would outline the truth. and the question you have to ask is why? >> yesterday, at the white house, jay carney restated the administration's belief that congressional republicans were engaged in a political witch-hunt. >> it is our view and it is a simple fact that from the early hours of the attack there have been attempts by the republicans
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to politicize what was a tragic attack on our facility in benghazi. >> today, another hearing, this time on domestic terrorism, as the house homeland security committee began an investigation into the boston marathon bombings with testimony from witnesses including boston police chief ed davis and former senate homeland security chairman joe lieberman. >> i believe that though it would not have been easy, it was possible to have prevented the terrorist attacks in boston. a lo a lot of the old stove pipes have come down, but you two agencies that didn't involve before the event the local and state authorities that could have helped us prevent the attack. the truth of the matter is nobody bats a thousand. i think as a nation we need to come to terms with it. >> before the bombing, were you aware that based on the russian intelligence that the fbi opened an investigation into tamerlan?
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>> we were not aware of that. >> would you have liked to have known about that? >> yes. >> joining us now from capitol hill is republican congressman michael mccaul of texas, he chairs the house homeland security committee. chairman mccaul, thank you for being on the program. >> thanks. >> joining the panel now, senior fellow at the center on budget policy and priorities and msnbc contributor, jared bernstein. something i found fascinating and watching this hearing was that the boston police had three detectives, part of the joint terrorist task force, and the fbi never once mentioned to them that they had -- had a file on tamerlan, concerned about his activities. after we created the homeland security department after 9/11, how is that possible? what did we miss here? >> i think that was the most disturbing thing about the testimony. i heard today when i asked him questions about, you know, you had boston police department
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officers on this task force. and yet they were not provided with the critical information of the russian intelligence lead, the fbi investigation, the cbp flag that went up regarding his overseas travel. and when i asked the commissioner at the end, had he known this, would he have done something differently, his answer was yes, i would have. and that's the sad part of this story, and, you know, i think senator lieberman brought a lot of richness to the hearing today, in terms of his breadth of experience, with these matters, that you can't be right all the time, but it is just 1% if they get in, and they got in this 1%. but after 9/11, dhs was created to bring down the stove pipes and yet we still see the dots not being connected, information not being shared. >> some troubling stuff there. in terms of where we go forward, chairman davis said perhaps more undercover officers, we don't want to live in a police state. do you see a possibility of an
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increased camera presence in places like boston, atlanta, san francisco, like we have very much in new york and washington, d.c.? >> well, i think that's up to the people of boston and atlanta. that's really their choice. of course, in new york, it is widely covered with cameras. i think the high value target at cities obviously there is a real value benefit, but you have privacy and civil liberty concerns there as well. but what i like to see is a difference, you know, this is a wake-up call that the state and locals have to be part of this process. they were shut out by the federal government. and we just can't allow that to happen 12 years after 9/11. >> on that point, when before we get to benghazi, being shut out of the process, obviously you were in maryland. you were in maryland right after 9/11. did you feel a lack of cooperation from the federal government and how -- the threat -- baltimore port was -- >> as a matter of fact, when i was lieutenant governor, bob
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ehrlich and i had to go through several increases in the threat level. and we had a coordination between federal, state and local authorities and it was a real effort to create communication because we realized and certain lit f ly the feds did at that time that we would be on the front lines. we would have an opportunity to figure out before maybe some others what was going on. a lot of people came to realize about three of the folks who got on planes on 9/11 lived in laurel, maryland. that's where they nestled themselves in communities like that. that type of intelligence is important to have. i want to ask the congressman, to you, sir, did you get an answer as to why no one ever bothered to share that information? what was it that so unimportant about that information that they couldn't pass along to the local authorities? >> no, we didn't get that answer. we didn't have federal officials at this hearing. we want to start the state and local first to get their reaction and then the next stage
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will to be have the federal law enforcement, fbi, dhs officials explain to us why this information wasn't shared. it is either -- either incompetence or they thought the information was so highly sensitive they didn't want to share it with state and locals. either way, it should have been shared. >> can i -- following up on that point and the question, as we understand it, you may know more than we do, but public information is that the fbi conducted an investigation in response to the word from the russians, and found nothing derogatory at that time. they didn't find any evidence of possible criminality, and they kind of asked the russians, well, we don't see anything, can you give us anything else? the russians said -- at that point, do we want the fbi, this is a theoretical question, then telling everybody else, we did an investigation of this guy, didn't find anything, but you should know it.
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what level, what is the threshold for the fbi? >> what do you think is a good line to draw for that? >> well, i would argue this, and, look, i've talked to the fib, give them the benefit of the doubt. i worked with the joint terrific task force and federal prosecutor and they did close the investigation. but here's the point. when the flag went up he was traveling back to the chechen region, which is very dangerous, chechen rebels worked with al qaeda in pakistan, afghanistan, and iraq, when that flag went up, and we knew he came back, and it was in that correspondence with the russian intelligence, at that time in point, if they had taken a second look at him, maybe gone on the youtube website, they would have seen this radical jihadist website and i think that would have stopped -- potentially stopped. >> we can all agree that someone should know that that individual is in their own backyard and local authorities should know that. i want to ask you about benghazi, chairman mccaul.
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speaker boehner is wading into the issue today, saying he wants the white house to release more e-mails. your colleague in the united states senate, bob corker, told this to chuck todd yesterday on msnbc. >> i've been able to read all the cables, i've seen the films. i feel -- i feel like i know what happened in benghazi. i'm fairly satisfied. but, look, the house wants to have hearings, i hope they're done in a respectful way and hopefully will shed some light on what happened. >> obviously that sound is from before the hearings yesterday. do you agree with speaker boehner that the white house should be more forth coming with information about benghazi? >> i think transparency is a very important here. and i think that the federal government can hide behind some cloak and should come forward. we don't know why these special forces were told to stand down where that order came from, i'm very concerned about that. and as i raised with secretary clinton, they asked for additional assistance in march. in may. and in august 16th cable as well. meanwhile, the consulate is
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getting hit, got hit two times, in that time frame. and those requests were denied for extra security. so that does raise some concerns i think are very legitimate. >> and political concerns for hillary clinton. i want to ask you, maggie, philippe reigns was all over this, trying to nullify this idea that secretary clinton was prohibiting congressional investigators who went over there from meeting with operatives on the ground. michelle mulkin, what difference does this make. it matters. looking at you, hillary, are we sort of seeing republicans going into that vast right wing conspiracy role we have seen before or are they trying to start this with clinton right here, right now, trying to muddy it up in 2013, three years out? >> i think it is a variety of things. there is -- to be clear there are legitimate questions to be asked about this. there has to be middle ground.
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that having been said, yes, the -- i did a story a couple of months ago about when will the rights start hitting hillary begun because the anti-hillary machine has been blunted for a long time. she's been nonpolitical in the state department for the most part. bill clinton's numbers were on the rise. hers are incredibly high. in 2008, the anti-hillary industry was kind of on the decline. it is revving up in full gear now. there is an interest in bringing her down a few notches in the polls before we head into 2014. she is the prohibitive front-runner on the democratic side. there are legitimate questions and that's important. >> do you think they worry about this at all in clinton land. >> i was just kind of wondering about that myself. i was going to ask maggie, is anybody paying attention outside of this kind of bubble in washington. i mean, i would imagine the average person, benghazi hearing, but -- >> that's -- >> what it does do, she was on exalted status, a lot of republicans like her and this brings her back to where she
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was. >> she was the anti-obama. and they used her as a wedge to get at obama. the past couple of days you have lindsey graham, you know, sometimes more respected and at other times saying this is watergate. it is not. >> quick point. a lot of people are out there thinking about jobs, thinking about unemployment, thinking about the economy, thinking about their paychecks. and here they're dragging up benghazi? and hillary clinton for 2016? i think like maggie suggested, it is pretty cognitively dissident for lite of people watching. >> michael mccaul, thank you for joining us and for all your insight. we appreciate it. take care. after the break, tea party senator marco rubio is now at odds with the tea party. how about that? we'll discuss the new infighting over immigration. that's next. new car!
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today after months of coalition building and deliberation, the senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill is facing its first congressional test as the senate judiciary committee begins considering proposed changes to the 844 page legislation. and with 300 amendments on the table, two-thirds of which came from republicans, it is clear that the road ahead for immigration reform is likely to be a rocky one. the amendment process allows democrats and republicans to transform the bill to improve as they see fit that it also slow down the bill's path to final passage. and most worrisome to supporter, it could undermine the comprehensive nature of the bill. some amendments, the so-called poison pills, could end up killing the entire thing. like an amendment from senator ted cruz that would get rid of the pathway to citizenship or an amendment from senator patrick
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leahy to allow same sex partners to become citizens, something that would cause the bill to lose gop support. two poison pill amendments that would have derailed the pathway to citizenship were defeeated earlier this hour. they say they're going to work together to shepherd this bill through. this morning, senator marco rubio insisted the amendment process wouldn't destroy the bill's prospects. >> i don't think amendments are trying to gut t i read headlines that say that. i don't understand it. that's the way the process is supposed to work. we worked with a starting point, four republicans and four democrats, crafted what i think is an excellent starting point and now we're asking our colleagues for suggestions about how to improve it. >> but while the rubio gang of eight colleague john mccain said he remained guardedly optimistic, he acknowledged the fragility of the bipartisan bill saying if there are efforts made to destroy that delicate compromise, he said then it could fall apart. all of this arduous process of going through 300 amendments, one by one, in the name of an
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open transparent debate in the name of regular order. that principle which has become the hallmark of the gop on capitol hill, something near and dear to speaker john boehner's heart as well. jared, i want to talk of money here. the heritage foundation is out with a report saying that immigration reform could cost $6.3 trillion. now, marco rubio, jeff flake, paul ryan, a lot of folks on the republican side said, wait, that's a little bit absurd, that's over the line. take me through this number. if paul ryan is hitting back on this number, it can't be too factual. >> i'll take you through that number. let me take you through three other numbers. i heard three numbers. 844 pages, 300 amendments, which are designed to gut the bill. i think marco rubio is disingenuous there. the cost of the heritage substituty, a misleestudy.
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that number is more determinative of where this is going than any other number we have said so far. so let's just get that straight. >> biggest number on the table. >> biggest number. on the trillions, you can get that -- heritage foundation claims this is the cost to our society of this bill, making folks who are here legal, with a path to citizenship. you only get that number if you only count the cost and you leave out most of the benefits. and what is interesting is not only that they're leaving out the benefits, but that as you mentioned, republicans, conservatives are attacking the heritage foundation, conservative think tank, for leaving out those benefits and for coming up with a exude analysis. >> i want to read one thing and then go to you, david. it is one thing i find interesting here is that jason richwine, co-author of the heritage study, he wrote in 2009, interesting words, saying, immigrants living in the u.s. today do not have the same level of cognitive ability as natives. no one knows whether hispanics
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will ever reach iq parity with whites. >> there you have it. >> i got to think that marco rubio, any republican running for president does not want this touching them with a 50 foot pole. >> that's the point. that's the point i was going to make. i can go one better on that. mother jones after that story came out, we found in 2008 the year before he wrote those words he was at a conference in which he said quite clearly that nonwhite immigrants of today are dumber than the immigrants that came from italy, ireland, the jewish immigrants and from east europe, 100 years ago. this guy is an outright racist, anti-ethnic group and that's what heritage is making this big play, and basing everything on him. i've never seen the heritage foundation which long has been a pretty, you know, foundational
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institution in washington make such a miscalculation, got to blame -- >> professional. >> the dark side of the dark side. >> i mean, there is not much to add. it was shocking, the words are shocking. this is everything that the republican party has been trying to get away from. it is a very surprising slip from the heritage foundation. >> now, i want to talk to you, mike, a little bit about how this moves forward. there is some amendments here. orrin hatch has an amendment that requires most undocumented immigrants to submit to dna testing before they would get legal status. i'm not sure that could fly very well. let's talk about -- one thing i find interesting covering capitol hill is this is going to face difficult road in the senate, but will most likely get out of the senate, but the house wants to change it up a little bit. kevin mccarthy says, look -- the
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polling shows most people, 50% of americans see it as a top priority. is there a real fear among republicans like yourself who want to see this move forward, because you think it helps you in the electoral process, the house gop could kill this thing? >> i don't have that fear. they can do whatever they want and just know in two to four, six years they'll become politically irrelevant. that's the reality here, folks. we can dance on this pin head all day long. you better wake up. kevin mccarthy, better talk to the 140 members who have 10% in their district of hispanics and make them realize they could be a very, very small number in 2014 and 2016 and beyond because the reality of it is hispanics and all americans, and this is the key thing, this is not just about the hispanic vote, african-americans, white americans, every american is watching this process to see how we're going to treat future americans.
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>> wait a second. you want house republicans to be reasonable? >> i do. there is a reason to be reasonable and there are reasonable voices in the house. >> that's the question. >> here's the question. question is, are there enough house republicans when you take out let's say the tea partiers, the folks who are on the wrong side of this issue, given what michael just said, are there enough combined with democrats and it might mean that john boehner violates the hastert. >> that is the question. he does, but he does it after it goes through the house judiciary committee. it is like jenga. all the pieces are there. you can pull one out and it can all -- we'll get back to you guys on that. coming up, we got to pay some bills, the average bill for a patient on a ventilator at one
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washington hospital is $115,000. but go a few miles away and guess what, that same service costs less than $53,000. we'll lift the veil on the great mystery of medicare costs just ahead. it is a little wonky, but if you care about your tax dollars, you'll want to see this segment. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? [ crows ] now where's the snooze button? americans may be getting some answers. we'll pull back the curtain on medicare billing next on "now." ♪ before tori was taking her kids to lunch in her new volkswagen... before her passat had passed 30 different inspection tests, and before several thousand tennesseans discovered new jobs on volkswagen drive, their cfo and our banker met for lunch.
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everywhere you go in this great country of ours, you see prices. a restaurant, and then tells you what a cheese berger costs. rates for the movie tickets are
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posted above the box office. price tags dangle off clothing and retail stores. but if you walk into a hospital, and you probably have no idea what a procedure will cost. there is no board, menu or price tag. for the first time the government pulled back the curtain on medical costs and released the average amount hospitals charge for the 100 most frequent procedures. the results show it is far from uniform. if you need a joint replaced, it will cost you $160,000 at a hospital in irving, texas, which is near dallas, but if you travel five miles down the same street, another hospital will charge just $42,000. roughly a quarter of the cost for the same procedure. in new york city, one hospital charged $34,000 to treat a case of asthma or bronchitis. 63 blocks away, another hospital charged $8,000 for that same procedure. the government used medicare billings to compile the research and acknowledged the degree of illness could account for variation in cost. some hospitals pushed back.
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a spokesman for keck hospital told the new york times, academic medical centers have a higher cost structure. and the vice president of the american hospital association told the washington post that the official bill called the charge master rate isn't always paid in full. quote, the charge master, my goodness, the charge master can be confusing because it is highly variable and generally not what a consumer would pay. even an uninsured person isn't always paying the charge master rate. we'll go to our own charge master. >> did you call me charge master? >> you're the charge master. what is going on here? we're hearing, like, look, this is just a sticker price, numbers, medicare pays less, insurers bark it down. the fact that you have such variation and some are so high and some are so low, the consumer must be going out there saying, what the heck is going on? >> it just really underscores the point that it is so important that everybody -- every other advanced economy
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figured out, which is that health care is not a normal market. i thought your introduction was right. you go to buy a snickers bar, know what it costs, know what you're going to get, consistent pricing and information. we don't have that in the health care sector. now, the key -- the key moral of everything we're talking about so far, if you look at these reports, is that the thing you don't want to be in america is uninsured. because it is only the uninsured who are looking at anything like these kind of sticker prices that you've just cited. they're paying factors of four above what the insurance companies including medicare are getting. huge gap between the sticker price and what the insurers are paying. policiwise, it takes you to the following insight. you're far better, not only if you're covered, but if you're in a pool. if you're in a pool with other people. you have the bargaining power to bring down that sticker price. what is out there to get you in a pool? something called the affordable care act. at the bottom of all this, let's implement -- >> do you think this is part of the government putting it out there. is this the administration, sort of behind the scenes, saying,
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look, this is what's going on, what better twi contr eter way costs? >> i don't want to presume to guess whether there is something more machiavellian in terms of the way this was rolled out. but it is striking. it is -- it is something that anybody, especially if you live in a large metropolis where there are multiple hospitals like new york city, like boston, where you are very aware. it is not just disparity of -- it is disparity of reimbur reimbursement, it is a huge problem. where it goes from here and how much it is impacting the health care debate, i'm not so sure. i think it remains deeply complicated for the average citizen. >> i do think that the health care debate is not going away. >> they're going to try to repeal it again. putting that aside, implementation is happening this yearment and there are going to be times when it works well, some problems with it. and i think the white house and people like jared who are advocates of the program will have to go out there and say,
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even if there is a mistake here, a mistake there, this is what's good about it and the benefits and we have to keep relitigating this. >> that is true. >> mcconnell and boehner today said they weren't going to put folks on the independent payment review board. they weren't going to -- essentially taking themselves out of the -- that's a good play for the gop or should they have a little say in it. >> you should have some skin in the game no matter how bad or flawed the game is. that way you can at least come out of the room and go, well, look, i tried to fix this, but they wouldn't let me do it. i would second guess them on t i think they should have somebody in the room there, should always -- if you fight, fight on as many fronts as you can afford to fight. not enough to say i want to repeal t but the rest of america yawns and you're not -- to your point, if you're not -- >> real quick last word, when can the consumer do to avoid these types of -- avoid the confusion and cost? >> the first thing the consumer can do is have insurance.
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it is really important in these cases. but the second thing is go on -- this website is pretty friendly. i was checking it out. you go on the website, you can figure out that one hospital, quality control, as maggie suggested, better prices than another one. >> could go out there on the internet and -- >> get insurance. >> thank you. the charge master, jared bernstein. that's it for this edition of "now." i'll be back tomorrow at noon eastern when i'm joined by the great sam stein, michael tamaske and ben smith. until then, follow alex wagner on twitter @nowwithalex. "andrea mitchell reports," duran mit andrea mitchell is next. keep it on msnbc. [ female announcer ] from more efficient payments. ♪ to more efficient pick-ups.
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mitchell reports," $8 million bond ariel castro. he's charged with kidnapping and rape. >> charged, based on premeditated, deliberate, depraved decisions, he snatched three young ladies from cleveland's west side streets, to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit. >> in boston, the body of bombing suspect tamerlan tsarnaev is buried at an undisclosed location as speculation builds over what his wi wife katherine russell knew before the terror attack. and boston's top cop testifies. he was never told about the warnings from russia. >> were you aware that based on this russian intelligence that the fbi opened an investigation into tamerlan? >> we were not aware of that. >> would you have liked to have known about that?
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>> yes. >> before the bombing, were you told that he posted radical jihadist video websites online? >> no, mr. chairman, we were not aware of the two brothers. we were in the aware of tamerlan's activities. >> and, again, would you like to have known that fact? >> yes, sir. >> the idea that the feds have this information, and it is not shared with the state and locals defies, you know, why we created the department of homeland security in the first place. >> and then there is benghazi backlash. house speaker john boehner calls on the president to release e-mails related to the attacks. >> the white house has done everything possible to block access to the information that would outline the truth. and the question you have to ask is why. >> and the prime minister of turkey tells nbc's ann